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This Week in Higher Ed 11/9/18

November 9, 2018

Iowa Wesleyan University Announces Potential Closure

Iowa Wesleyan University, founded in 1842, recently announced that this may be its last semester of operation, citing financial shortfalls. The University joins a growing list of small liberal arts colleges that are facing budget deficits, resulting in either closure or absorption by larger institutions. This trend continues to fulfill the prediction laid out by Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School in his 2011 book, The Innovative University, which hypothesized that as many as half of American universities will close or announce bankruptcy within 10–15 years. Higher education leaders must be acutely aware of their revenues, especially their reliance on tuition, to make responsible financial decisions and efficiently allocate their resources.

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Trump Administration Announces Changes to Title IX

The White House is performing a final review of proposed changes to Title IX that will change how sexual assault cases are handled on college campuses. Under the Obama-era regulation, defendants in sexual assault cases cannot cross-examine their accusers—a provision that is meant to prevent intimidation or coercion. The proposed changes will allow defendants to cross-examine accusers through an intermediary as a form of due process.

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Professor’s Office Vandalized after Criticizing Lack of Intellectual Diversity at Sarah Lawrence University

Samuel J. Abrams, a tenured professor at Sarah Lawrence University and AEI fellow, published an editorial in the New York Times about how his university’s administration sponsors many liberal events, and should sponsor some “meaningful ideological alternative[s]” for conservative students. Professor Abrams also presented data estimating that liberal administrators outweigh conservative administrators nationally by a ratio of 12:1, compared to the 6:1 ratio of liberal to conservative professors. Following the publishing of his editorial, students removed decorations from his office door, including pictures of his family. His belongings were replaced with notes calling for his resignation. Professor Abrams publicly lamented the lack of action taken by the University’s leadership to find and punish the perpetrators.

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Check here every Friday for the most important higher education news. Using over 23 years of expertise, ACTA will provide commentary on the pressing issues facing our nation’s colleges and universities.


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